by Laura Keeley, adapted from Walk On (Faith Alive, 2007)
Read Ruth 1
Orpah and Ruth, two women from Moab, lost their husbands. They died before Orpah and Ruth could have any children. Their mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to go back to her home country of Israel. Naomi encouraged Orpah and Ruth to stay in Moab. She said, “Go back to your parents. There is nothing for you where I am going.” Orpah did as Naomi said, but Ruth refused. She said to Naomi, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).
After Ruth went to Israel with Naomi, she met and married Boaz. They had a child, whom they named Obed. There was something very special in this family. They were in the line of Christ. This means that one of Obed’s great-great-great-great- . . . grandchildren was Jesus. Ruth, a person from Moab, a foreigner, became part of the line of Christ. Through her, Jesus, the Savior of the world, was born. This is a story of belonging.
When Ruth decided to go with Naomi, she made a choice to belong to this new family. When she said, “Your God [will be] my God,” she was saying that she belonged to God’s family. We were adopted by God into his family, just as Ruth was. The story of Ruth is a story of how God makes someone a part of his family. This is our story too. We don’t know what God is going to do with us, or what our children or grandchildren might turn out to be, but we do know that, just like Ruth, we belong to God.
Write the names of seven people in your church family, each on a separate piece of note paper. Each day this week, tape one of the names to the door that you use to go in and out of your home. As you enter and exit, think about that person and pray that they may know they belong to God.
Thank you, God, for being a God of people. Bless our church family as we worship and work together. Thank you for reminding us that we belong to you and to your church community. Amen.